Recruiting Awards from Day 1 of RisingSeniors.com (UPDATED)
Note: Saturday’s practices were shortened due to inclement weather.
Here are unofficial awards from the first day of practices at the RisingSeniors.com Bowl, which features 95 of the state’s top high school juniors. These are based on observations from players, coaches, scouts and recruiting analysts.
Clemson-bound QB DeShaun Watson of Gainesville looked like the best overall player at Friday's RisingSenior.com practices (AJC)
- Deshaun Watson, QB, Gainesville (committed to Clemson, but also reviewing offers from Ohio State, FSU, Auburn and Tennessee, among others). The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder looked like the best overall player at the all-star game. He’s got prototypical size, outstanding composure, he’s a running threat, and he can throw with accuracy and velocity on the run. Watson was just about perfect on the short and intermediate throws on a cold and windy day. “He’s as gifted as anybody I’ve ever seen,” said Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin, the Eastside offensive coordinator.
- Runner-up: None.
BIGGEST SURPRISE, OFFENSE
- Christian Harris, LT, Collins Hill (one offer from Ohio): How does this kid not have 20+ early scholarship offers? He will soon. Harris has an outstanding frame at 6-5, 266 pounds — tall and lean, with long arms. He can get off the ball well, he stays on his blocks, and he’s physical. Harris has been talking to UGA and would commit there if he gets an early offer. If the Bulldogs wait until he gets other offers, he will consider all schools.
- Runners-up: Dennis Edwards, OG, South Gwinnett (6-2, 305 lbs., no offers) and Donnie Foster, C, Savannah Christian (6-4, 300 with no offers).
OTHERS TO WATCH, OFFENSE
- Herschel Walker’s nephew, Savannah Calvary Day TE Milan Richard (6-3, 230), who has a dozen early offers, including UGA and Georgia Tech. Needs to improve on blocking but presents a huge mismatch against the defense in the passing game. “He’s got a world of potential,” McFarlin said … Both George Walton Academy RB Stanley Williams (committed to UGA) and Henry County RB Sedrick Palmer (no offers) broke free for long scoring runs.
- Raekwon McMillan, LB, Liberty County: McMillan is a 5-star and the top-ranked prospect in the game. On the first play of practice, the 6-2, 249-pounder had a crushing tackle that set the tone. McMillan has Ohio State as his leader among 50 offers.
- Runner-up: Locust Grove safety Cortez McDowell (early offers from UGA, Vanderbilt, UNC and Mississippi State) was the fastest player on defense …
BIGGEST SURPRISE, DEFENSE
- Jeremy Patterson, DT, Wayne County: Some were saying his recruiting situation was somewhat like Clemson with Montravius Adams last year. Clemson was the first to offer, months ahead everybody else. It’s the same deal with Patterson, as the Tigers are his first and only offer. But more are coming for the 6-4, 285-pounder.
OTHERS TO WATCH
- Tucker DT Elijah Shaw has ridiculous feet and athleticism at 6-6, 295 pounds. He also kept everybody loose with his jokes. Shaw has early offers from UGA and Alabama, among others … Camden County CB Kalvaraz Bessent (6-1, 185) has early offers from Ole Miss, UNC and Ohio State … Cedar Grove DE Bryson Allen-Williams may be a little smaller (6-2, 215) than listed but is very aggressive and physical. Allen-Williams has 17 offers, including Georgia Tech, Florida and South Carolina.
A star was born on Friday with RB Nicholas Chubb of Cedartown (247sports)
- Nicholas Chubb, RB, Cedartown: Everybody wondered whether Chubb was the “real deal” or another small-town superstar who posted big numbers against weak competition. The 5-11, 210-pounder is actually better than advertised. He simply dominated the Friday session. “He reminds you of an Alabama tailback; he’s got big legs, he’s hard to tackle, he runs hard and he runs behind his pads,” said Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker, the West’s head coach. Chubb has early offers from Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Purdue, and Ohio State. But if he has another day like Friday, his life will radically change. He’s likely the No. 1 RB from Georgia for the 2014 class, and will now appear in national rankings. Chubb is childhood fan of UGA.
- Runner-up: Demarre Kitt, WR, Sandy Creek. 24 offers, led by Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon, USC and UGA.
BIGGEST SURPRISE, OFFENSE
- Cameron Jackson, WR-CB, Creekside: The 5-11, 175-pounder is being looked at more by colleges at DB but was stunning at WR. He’s fast, he has dependable hands, and he can get a lot of yards after the catch. He has no offers yet.
- Runner-up: Jermaine Abron, OG, Warner Robins. The 6-2, 295-pounder was the Westside’s best offensive lineman. He has no offers yet.
OTHERS TO WATCH: Milton RB Treyvon Paulk (5-8, 195, with 12 offers, including Tennessee and Vanderbilt) can do a little bit of everything with running and catching. He may be the most athletic player on the West … Carrollton OG Jake Sanders (6-6, 315, with an offer from Mississippi State) …
- Juwon Young, LB, Albany: The 6-2, 230-pounder created a ton of buzz with his athleticism and physicality. “He’s big, he can fly, and he will hit you; I think that’s what you want in a linebacker,” Walker said. Shockingly, Young has no offers. Yet.
- Runners-up: Carrollton DT Dontavius Russell (6-3, 300, offers from Florida and Georgia Tech) …
- Lawrence Austin, DB, Lamar County: Everybody talked about another set of twins, the Berry brothers, coming into the game. But it was the Austin twins, Lawrence and Lance, who stole the show in the secondary. They are both around 5-10 or 5-9 and 175 pounds but will knock the tar out of you. They both have offers from South Carolina, Marshall and South Alabama, and are considered to be a lean to the Gamecocks.
- Runners-up: South Cobb DT Justin Jones (6-3, 260, no offers) and Lowndes LB Tre Jackson (5-11, 222, no offers)
OTHERS TO WATCH
- Chapel Hill DE Josiah Coatney (6-4, 251, with no offers), Sandy Creek DT Chris Williams (6-1, 283, offers from Ole Miss and Texas A&M) and ECLA DE Andrew Williams (6-4 240), who has a dozen offers and added Alabama on Thursday
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